Bletilla striata offsetting and in active growth

John Lonsdale
Sat, 06 Nov 2004 07:18:22 PST

Bletilla striate is hardy here, I have clumps with hundreds of noses per
clump and it is spectacular in May, flowering with large clumps of Iris
tectorum.  I have the Bletilla in a colder situation now, but used to grow
them in a very sunny place (they are happy in full sun not just the shade in
which they are usually planted) that was much more sheltered.  There I
encountered the problems you have described, but usually in early spring.
The shoots respond quickly to anything they interpret as spring and will
extend a couple of inches out of the ground.  In this situation they are
vulnerable to cold below around 27F - the above ground portions of the
shoots will brown and die.  If this happens you have to hope that the flower
buds weren't also killed - they are generally an inch or two below the tip
of the shoot.  If just the leaves are hit you end up with truncated leaves
with square ends - as if they've been mown or munched by a rabbit.
Occasionally the shoot can be completely killed but the rhizomes are just
fine.  You should protect them as much as possible but don't worry over much
- the worst it will cost you is a season's flowers.  

I have a few things here that have been fooled by our relatively cool and
damp summer - a Frit. camschatcensis is flowering - and all my Cyclamen
graecum flowered 3 weeks early.


John T Lonsdale PhD
407 Edgewood Drive,
Exton, Pennsylvania 19341, USA

Home: 610 594 9232
Cell: 484 678 9856
Fax: 801 327 1266

Visit "Edgewood" - The Lonsdale Garden at

USDA Zone 6b

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